Multimodal AI | What Is It & Its Major Use Cases Across Different Industries
Artificial Intelligence
Vishnu Narayan November 10, 2023

For anyone curious about the next frontier of AI models, the spotlight is on ‘Multimodal AI’ systems. Thinking why?

Well, right now, AI is like an intelligent friend—it can chat with you and answer almost all of your queries on the go. 

However, the future AI will be more advanced. It will be your all-in-one companion! 

It won’t just chat; it’ll show you images, play tunes, and get creative with videos, and it can do much more.

It’s like going from a black-and-white TV to a 4K experience!

Therefore, this new AI will be a game-changer, making conversations not just words but a dynamic mix of everything your senses can soak in. 

Rather than a vague concept, it’s a straightforward upgrade to make AIs smarter and more versatile. How does that sound? 

Read on and stick to the end to learn more interesting facts about Multimodal AI and its amazing use cases across various industries.

What Exactly Is Multimodal AI?

Multimodal AI is like a super-smart assistant that can handle different kinds of information—words, pictures, and even spoken words. 

Moreover, It’s trained by showing many examples where, say, a picture is paired with a description.

Heatmap tracking multimodal attention. Image credit: Intel Labs © 2022 Intel Corporation.
Heatmap tracking multimodal attention. Image credit: Intel Labs © 2022 Intel Corporation.

So, when you give it a new picture, it doesn’t just see shapes and colors. Rather, it understands what’s going on and can even tell you about it in words. 

Similarly, if you tell it something, it can create a mental picture.

How Does Multimodal AI Work?

Multimodal AI works through a process of training and learning, and it involves exposing the AI model to datasets that contain examples from different modalities, such as paired images and text descriptions. 

In addition, the training process teaches the model to recognize patterns and associations between different data types.

To put it simply, think of it like teaching a computer to understand both pictures and words by showing it lots of examples.

Multimodal AI | What Is It & Its Major Use Cases Across Different Industries It learns to connect what it sees in a picture with the words that describe it. 

After this training, you can give it a new picture, and it will tell you what’s in it, or give it some words, and it’ll create a matching picture. 

See, doesn’t it look like a high-tech language and image understanding combo? That’s Multimodal AI for you!

How Does Multimodal AI Learn by Connecting the Dots?

Human brains are awesome at learning from different things. Take the example of an apple. 

It’s not just about how it looks; it’s also about the sound it makes when you bite into it, the cultural references like apple pie, and all the detailed info you find in books or online. 

Humans grasp the concept of an apple using various sources.

What is Multimodal AI?

A smart AI system can learn from lots of places—pictures, text, you name it. And guess what? It can use all that learning to solve any kind of problem. 

So, if it learned something from a picture or a database, it can use that info to answer a question in regular language. 

Similarly, if it learned from text, it can apply that knowledge when dealing with pictures. 

It’s like everything connects through these big ideas that work across all kinds of learning—just like saying, “A dog is always a dog,” no matter how you look at it!

And when it comes to common sense, humans have much of it. We know birds fly and cars drive on the road, and we pick up this common sense from what we see, hear, and feel. 

But AI often lacks this common sense. That’s where multimodal systems come in. They provide a way to teach AI common sense by letting it learn from different sources—like images, text, and sounds.

For instance, if you show AI a picture of a car and read about its wheels, the AI needs to connect the idea of wheels in both the image and the text. 

It’s like making the AI understand that the picture and the words are discussing the same thing. That’s how we make AI really smart!

What Are the Key Components of Multimodal AI?

Typically, multimodal AI architecture consists of three key components: input module, fusion module, and output module.

What Are the Key Components of Multimodal AI?

  1. Input Module: This is like the eyes and ears of the AI. It looks at different types of information (text, images, etc.) and gets them ready for the AI brain.
  2. Fusion Module: Now, think of this like a brain that brings all the info together. It takes what the eyes (or ears) saw and heard and mixes it up smartly. It could be as simple as putting things together or using innovative techniques like paying attention to important details.
  3. Output Module: This is like the AI’s mouth—it gives you the final answer. After the brain (fusion module) has worked its magic on all the info, the mouth (output module) delivers what the AI thinks is the right answer.

What Is The Difference Between Multimodal AI And Unimodal AI?

Unimodal AI focuses on processing and understanding information from a single source or modality, such as text, images, or speech. 

For example, a system that only analyzes text would be considered unimodal.

On the other hand, multimodal AI deals with multiple modalities simultaneously. 

Moreover, it can process and understand information from various sources like text, images, and speech, combining insights from different modalities to enhance overall comprehension. 

What Is The Difference Between Multimodal AI And Unimodal AI?

This can lead to a more robust and nuanced understanding than unimodal systems.

In a nutshell, unimodal AI specializes in one type of data, while multimodal AI integrates and interprets information from different sources.

What Are The Advantages of Multimodal AI?

There are numerous advantages of multimodal AI, which include:

  1. Accuracy Boost: Imagine you’re trying to understand how people feel about a product. If you use not just words but also pictures and sounds from customer feedback, you get a fuller picture—making your understanding more accurate.
  2. Incredible User Experience: Think of a virtual assistant that doesn’t just understand your words but also recognizes your gestures and listens to your voice. That’s multimodal AI, making your interaction smoother and more engaging.
  3. Adaptive to Noise: Say you’re using a speech recognition system that looks at both what’s said and what’s seen. Even if the sound isn’t perfect or the speaker’s face is half-hidden, the system still works well. It’s like having a backup plan!
  4. Resource Efficiency: Picture a system sorting through social media posts. Considering not just text but also images and other details, it can focus on important ones, saving time and energy.
  5. Improved Interpretation: In a medical diagnosis system, using not only images but also written descriptions helps to explain why it thinks you’re healthy or not. It’s like giving reasons for its decisions, making it more trustworthy.

A Few Practical Examples of Multimodal AI

Here are a few practical examples of Multimodal AI in action:

A Few Practical Examples of Multimodal AI

  1. Social Media Content Moderation: Multimodal AI analyzes text, images, and audio to identify and moderate content.
  2. Virtual Assistants: Smart assistants powered by Multimodal AI use text and speech recognition for natural interaction.
  3. Healthcare Imaging: Multimodal AI analyzes medical images with text reports and patient history for better diagnostics.
  4. Autonomous Vehicles: Multimodal AI processes data from sensors like cameras and radar for navigation in self-driving cars.
  5. E-commerce Product Recommendations: Multimodal AI analyzes images and descriptions for personalized product recommendations.

 Integrating AI into your business can not only improve your customer experience but also boost revenue!

  1. Educational Tools:  It uses text, images, and speech for interactive learning experiences.

Basically, Multimodal AI is your upgraded, versatile AI companion that understands and works with all kinds of information, and its applications are endless.

How Is Multimodal AI Used Across Various Industries?

Multimodal AI’s versatility makes it a game-changer across various industries, and it makes the future of Multimodal AI quite promising. 

Let’s take a look at a few:

  1. Healthcare: Multimodal AI helps doctors by looking at medical images, patient records, and genetic info to personalize treatments and improve patient outcomes.
  2. Retail: When you shop online, Multimodal AI checks what you’ve looked at, product pictures, and reviews to suggest things you’d probably love, making your shopping experience awesome.
  3. Agriculture: Farmers use Multimodal AI to check crops with satellite images, weather data, and soil info. It helps them decide on watering and fertilizers, getting better crops, and saving money.
  4. Manufacturing: In factories, Multimodal AI looks at pictures and sounds to catch product issues and make manufacturing smoother. This means better quality and less waste.
  5. Entertainment: Multimodal AI watches movies or shows to determine what scenes hit you emotionally, which characters you like, and what humor works best. This helps make content that you’ll enjoy more.

Read Also: How Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning are Revolutionizing the OTT Industry

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Multimodal Artificial Intelligence?

Multimodal AI is a fresh approach to artificial intelligence that blends different types of data—such as images, text, speech, and numerical information—using multiple intelligent processing algorithms. This fusion often results in superior performance compared to AI systems that focus on a single type of data in various real-world challenges.

What Is Multimodal And An Example?

Multimodal texts integrate different modes, including written and spoken language, visual elements (still and moving images), audio, gestures, and spatial meaning.

What Are The 4 Types Of Multimodality?

Multimodal learning involves four main methods: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic (VARK). While some experts suggest people may favor one, like visual learning, there’s not much solid evidence supporting these preferences.

What Are The Challenges Of Multimodal AI?

Multimodal AI faces five key challenges: representation, translation, alignment, fusion, and co-learning.

Parting Thoughts: Is Multimodal AI the Future?

In a nutshell, Multimodal AI is changing the AI game, bringing together data from different sources for a smarter and more connected world.

OpenAI, the brain behind ChatGPT, joined the Multimodal AI game on September 25, adding image analysis and speech synthesis for mobile apps. 

Why the rush? Google’s Gemini was already making waves in testing. Moreover, as AI giants race to the top, they’re reshaping how we interact with technology.

On the other hand, Google’s chatbot, Bard, has also been rocking multimodality since July 2023. 

Now, ChatGPT, joining the crew in October, does more than just understand text—it reads, visualizes, chats, and even recognizes images.

Let ThinkPalm’s AI Development Services be Your Guiding Light!

Businesses, a golden opportunity awaits you to embark on a revolutionary journey! 

Dive into the endless possibilities of multimodal AI to surf the wave of innovation. 

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Author Bio

Vishnu Narayan is a dedicated content writer and a skilled copywriter working at ThinkPalm Technologies. More than a passionate writer, he is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader who seamlessly blends creativity with technical expertise. A wanderer at heart, he tries to roam the world with a heart that longs to watch more sunsets than Netflix!